On January 30th 1964 Sam Cooke recorded the timeless civil rights anthem A Change Is Gonna Come - it is considered to be one of the greatest and most important songs ever written. Inspired by Bob Dylan's Blowin' In The Wind, the song reflected on his real life struggles as a black man. The song appeared on his eleventh and final album Ain't That Good News, released March 1st of that year. Cooke performed the song on the Johnny Carson Show just before the albums release on February 7 - it would be the only time he performed the song. The performance of his unusually personal and political song was overshadowed by The Beatles first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show 2 days later. By December of that year, A Change Is Gonna Come was finally prepared to be released as a single on the b-side of his hit song Shake. On December 11th, 2 weeks before the records release date, 33 year old Cooke was shot to death at a Los Angeles motel. Although his death was ruled a justifiable homicide, the unusual events and reports of his badly beaten body leave a lot of unanswered questions. After his death the song became a major hit and an important part of the civil rights movement. The song entered the pop charts on the first week of 1965, where it stayed for a few months. Those months were marked by significant events such as the clash on the Pettus bridge during a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery.
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